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Testing mechanistic explanations of observed correlations between environmental factors and marine fisheries

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Abstract:

Based on observed correlations, marine fisheries are often hypothesized to depend on environmental factors. Since correlations are unreliable as a predictive tool, it is desirable to seek mechanistic explanations for observed correlations. This paper considers methods available for testing such mechanistic explanations. As a specific example, we consider the optimal stability window, proposed as a mechanistic explanation of observed correlations between the survival of North Pacific salmon stocks and the state of the atmosphere over the North Pacific in winter, as applied to the coastal waters and fisheries of southern British Columbia, Canada.

À cause des corrélations que l'on observe entre les facteurs de l'environnement et les pêches marines, on émet souvent l'hypothèse qu'il existe un lien de dépendance entre les deux. Cependant, comme les corrélations ne peuvent servir d'outil fiable pour établir des prédictions, il faut rechercher des explications mécanistes aux corrélations observées. Nous présentons ici un examen des méthodes disponibles pour tester de telles explications mécanistes. L'exemple précis que nous étudions est la « fenêtre de stabilité maximale » qui a été proposée comme explication mécaniste des corrélations qui existent entre la survie des stocks de saumons du Pacifique Nord et les conditions de l'atmosphère au-dessus du Pacifique Nord en hiver et nous l'appliquons aux eaux côtières et aux pêches du sud de la Colombie-Britannique, Canada.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2001

More about this publication?
  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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